Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 18, 2022

The Ukraine Is Still Losing So What Is Its Plan?

Russian and Donbas forces have cleared the city of Mariupol except for the giant metallurgic complex of Azovstal which is held by some estimated 4,000 men, including many from the fascist Azov battalion.

On Sunday Russia opened corridors across the front line and asked for those forces to surrender. However the Zelensky government ordered them to stay and to continue to bind Russian forces which otherwise could be used elsewhere:

Russia had given the Ukrainian fighters in Mariupol until Sunday morning to lay down their weapons or be “eliminated.” On Sunday, the forces at the plant ignored the deadline, and Ukrainian officials vowed that they would not surrender. In response, the Russian assault intensified, with missiles and bombs hitting the city and new attacks occurring near the plant, according to the Ukrainian military.
...
Ukrainian officials said on Sunday that the struggle was not over for Mariupol, which for two months has tied up Russian troops and resources that are badly needed elsewhere.

The Azovstal complex is a 2 by 2 miles industrial area. It can be surrounded and controlled by a relatively small force. Those within the area no longer have heavy artillery ammunition and presumably little other supplies. The Russian forces can see and bomb anything that moves on the open ground and can otherwise sit back and wait their enemies out.

I do not believe that holding on to Azovstal will significantly delay the upcoming second phase of the Russian operation which will surround and destroy the Ukrainian army on the Donbas front.

The Russian military has two huge advantage over the Ukrainian forces in the east. One is of course its air superiority. The other is the unimpeded supply line which allows it to get as much heavy artillery ammunition, fuel and food to its forces as it needs.

Without fuel the Ukrainian army can not move and without constant supply, especially of large amounts of artillery munitions, it can not counter Russian artillery which will be in heavy use against it.

This pictures of a former Ukrainian position show the devastating result of such a situation.


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Nearly all of the Ukrainian ammunition and fuel supplies have been bombed and destroyed. What is trickling in through its western borders has difficulties to reach the eastern front and is anyway not enough to supply an actively fighting and maneuvering army.

On April 16 Russia shot down a Ukrainian military transport plane that was bringing 'western' weapons to Odessa. Today it destroyed another ammunition depot near Lviv were 'western' weapons are crossing the border into Ukraine. Some bits of fuel allegedly still reach the Ukraine through trains from Moldova. But that is far from enough.

Here is a week old report on the fuel situation:

Since the beginning of the war, the number of gas stations in Ukraine has decreased three times, and private fuel consumption has decreased by about the same amount, said Sergey Kuyun, director of the A-95 consulting group.

“According to our estimates, a third of the total number of gas stations is operating, this is about 2.5 thousand stations, before the war there were 7.5 thousand. Of course, the main reason is the lack of fuel. Consumption has also decreased three times compared to the pre-war level,” he said at a closed briefing at the Media Center in Lviv on Monday.

At the same time, Kuyun noted that traders or network owners are forced to provide their most strategic and powerful facilities, located mainly in regional centers or on main routes, while peripheral stations are forced to stand idle, although there are also a lot of consumers there.

According to him, the shortage of fuel became especially aggravated after the shutdown of the Kremenchug Oil Refinery as a result of a missile attack by Russian invaders.
...
On April 2, the Russian invaders destroyed the infrastructure of the Kremenchug oil refinery with their shelling, and it stopped working.

The damage done daily to the Ukrainian military and military industry is huge. One can get a sense of it when one reads through the briefings of the Russian defense ministry. From today's morning brief (here in full as some have difficulties accessing the site):

The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue the special military operation in Ukraine.

High-precision air-based missiles destroyed 16 military assets of Ukrainian overnight.

Among them: 5 enemy command posts, 1 fuel storage facility, 3 ammunition depots, as well as military personnel and equipment concentrated in Barvenkovo, Gulyai Pole, Kamyshevakha, Zelenoe Pole, Velikomikhailovka and Nikolaev.

Operational-tactical aviation hit 108 areas of concentration of Ukrainian manpower and military equipment.

In addition, 1 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicle was shot down by an air-to-air missile near Buda.

Army aviation destroyed 8 tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles, as well as up to a company of enemy manpower near Pashkovo, Veseloe and Illichevka.

Missile troops struck with high-precision Iskander land-based missiles. 4 arms depots and Ukrainian military equipment were destroyed, as well as 3 areas enemy manpower concentration near Popasnaya, Yampol and Kramotorsk.

Russian artillery units hit 315 Ukrainian assets overnight.

18 command posts, 22 artillery batteries, 1 OSA-AKM anti-aircraft missile system, as well as 275 enemy strong points and areas of concentration of enemy manpower were hit.

Russian air defence means shot down 3 Ukrainian combat aircraft in the air: 2 MiG-29 fighters near Izyum and 1 Su-25 near Avdeevka.

11 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles were also shot down in the air near Klimovo, Nevelskoe, Novotroitskoe, Izyum, Panteleimonovka, Sladkovodnoe and Yasnoe. 10 large-calibre rockets fired by Ukrainian multiple rocket launchers at Chernobaevka were intercepted.

In total, 139 aircraft, 483 unmanned aerial vehicles, 250 anti-aircraft missile systems, 2,326 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 254 multiple launch rocket systems, 1,004 field artillery and mortars, as well as 2,184 units of special military vehicles of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were destroyed during the operation.

This has now been going on daily for more than a month. While the precision of the above numbers is somewhat uncertain I do not think that they are exaggerated by much. Yesterday there was no particular heavy fighting and the equipment destroyed on that one day alone was already more than what the U.S. has in total promised to send.

That means that the military destruction and defeat of the Ukrainian forces in the country's east is all but assured.

What then is the strategy that government in Kiev and its overlords in Washington DC are following? Why has the Ukraine not given up? Why didn't it continue to negotiate with the Russian side?

Is their hope that their daily over the top 'Russia is losing' propaganda will create enough political momentum for a large scale NATO intervention?

That would end in a disaster for the NATO forces.

Russia is obviously prepared for it. It has so far held back large parts of its own forces. Russia has at least 12 tactical missile artillery brigades, each with 36 Iskander missile launchers and 144 fire ready missiles. Only three of the those brigades plus a third of two other ones have so far been committed:

Three brigades, or a total of 36 Iskander launchers (two missiles each plus two resupply missiles per launcher) were deployed to Belarus as part of the buildup to war in Ukraine. Two additional brigades (12 launchers) were also assigned to Russia's Southern Military District and moved forward in the area of Belgorod near the Russian border; and to the area of Krasnodar, south of Ukraine.

Most of the Russian airforce has likewise been held back.

On March 24 the Pentagon claimed that Russia was running out of precision munitions. However, if the Russian defense ministry report is correct, at least 16 precision air ground missiles and 7 Iskander were used just yesterday. To me that does not sound like 'limited supplies'.

Other issues:

Since Saturday Gonzalo Lira, who has been reported from Kharkov, is no longer reachable. He seems to have been captured or killed by the Ukrainian Gestapo-like SBU. Sadly I had expected that. Doing hours of Youtube live streams when your enemy controls the internet in your area is not very smart.

A picture of the damaged Russian cruiser Moscwa was published today.


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The Russian cruiser was damaged last week and sunk. The ship is listing and so it must have additional damage below its waterline. The picture shows fire midships on its port side where two of its close-in weapons systems and their ammunition storages are. The ships crane is deployed right above that area. The large anti-ship missiles towards the bow and the S-300 air defense launchers behind the deckhouse seem intact. The port side life rafts are no longer where they were and must have been launched. That means that a significant part of the crew likely got off the ship alive before it sank.

The picture does not tell us what has happened. Was this an accidental ammunition explosion as Russia had first claimed or was the ship hit by Ukrainian (or British?) anti-ship missiles as the Ukraine is claiming? We will have to wait for further reports to know that.

Posted by b on April 18, 2022 at 17:28 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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@ Republicofscotland | Apr 19 2022 9:01 utc | 288

If NATO troops/weapons put one foot over the border aren't they in danger of being welcomed with a barrage of very powerful missiles?
Any significant incursion just wouldn't have time to hide themselves behind civilians which seems to be NATO's most effective defence at moment.
Which suggests that a prelude to this would have to be a missile or air attack(s) on Russia an action that Putin has warned would result in action being taken against where the attack came from - The USA!

Surely the Pentagon hasn't forgotten about Russia's undetectable? nuclear armed Submarine in world's Oceans.

.

Posted by: Iain | Apr 19 2022 9:29 utc | 301

Posted by: Cyberhorse | Apr 19 2022 8:45 utc | 286

May be, I'm giving the benefit of doubt, US improved its performance and stealth capabilities after the Iran incident; indubitably, NATO are using the current conflict to learn and improve their weapons, possibly on the go.

Something else I'm noticing is that a lot of more analyticaly inclined Russian channels are talking about terror attacks deep into Russian territory where the defenses are potentially sparser. For example, https://t.me/genshab/552 - some of this guy's opinions can be quite pessimistic, but what I share is this expectation of further escalation into Russia's territory from US/NATO:


There is still unofficial data on the transfer of MGM–140 tactical complexes, which are also in commercial quantities in warehouses in Europe.
These complexes, whose range of destruction reaches 300 km, allow striking deep into the territory of Russia.

...

What conclusions can we draw?

The first and main conclusion is that the initial stage of the military operation, when Russia could dictate its conditions and retain the initiative due to advantages in certain branches of the armed forces, has exhausted itself.

Secondly, the United States promptly compensated for the losses of the AFU in armored vehicles and artillery, and is ready to maintain this balance due to the reserve of the Warsaw Bloc and its own reserves in Europe.

Third, there is a gradual saturation of the AFU with modern weapons, which neutralize the superiority of the Russian army and navy.

All this leads to the obvious conclusion that it will not work in the race of resources to break Ukraine simply by slowly grinding the AFU.

We are not at war with Kiev, but with the combined potential of the US and the EU. There are enough stocks of equipment in Europe to compensate for all potential losses of the AFU.

We need to look for other, asymmetric models of warfare and prepare for the new challenges that modern weapons systems transferred to Ukraine carry.
Including on our own territory.

A new stage of military confrontation has begun, which requires the mobilization and concentration of state resources, changes in approaches to conducting a military operation.

A small victorious war did not work out.

And the main thing to remember is that we are not at war with Ukraine.

We are fighting with the united and far from complete military potential of the Western world, led by the United States, on the territory of Ukraine, where the country is a battlefield and a resource base of war.

Ukraine is not the only, and I'm afraid far from the last theater of military operations of this global confrontation.

So far, we are following an imposed corridor of actions, which leads to the exhaustion of our military and economic potential.
@genshab

Hopefully, the massive artillery, rocket, missile barrages that started the second phase yesterday are a sign that Russians want to bring the end of Donbass cauldron quickly, and solve the military resource race this guy is talking about.

Posted by: Boo | Apr 19 2022 9:39 utc | 302

Lira speaking

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2-sWV9HybKw

Posted by: Lily | Apr 19 2022 9:48 utc | 303

On the other hand, Russia is preparing itself for assymetric war, https://t.me/RVvoenkor/8650:


The Russian Army will introduce new methods of warfare for better adaptation to modern conditions of military confrontation — Shoigu
@RVvoenkor

Posted by: Boo | Apr 19 2022 9:51 utc | 304

...into the granary of the world due to climate change. sez Carloffi.. FAKE nooz.

''Doctored Data, Not U.S. Temperatures, Set a Record This Year by James Taylor'' 2020.
'EconLog. 1.6%, Not 97%, Agree that Humans are the
Main Cause of Global Warming. By David Henderson''
''The UK Telegraph in their ClimateGate Series exposed the U of East Anglia Climate Scientists, who were tasked with supplying the UN's IPCC with temperature data.. for having deliberately placed thermometers on
rooftops next to hot air con outlets, on black tarmac car parks, in city centers and supplied many readings from Russian locations with NO thermometers''.

There are 3 basic climate science principles: -1) Climate science is in it's absolute infancy.-2)The climate is so complex it is impossible to model or predict. -3)The inherent complexity ensure it will always be changing and nothing man does impacts that.

Sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is the highest it’s been in nine years, increasing more than 30% from last year, while the Antarctic’s level is well above normal. Most years the Arctic loses ice, but this year ice extent has increased” more than 77,000 square miles. That’s according to the Ocean and Sea Ice Satellite Application Facility’s High Latitude Processing Center.

The Antarctic interior recorded its coldest April-to-September this year since records began in 1957. According to the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC), the average temperature at the US Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station was minus 60.9ºC for the six months. It was also the station’s second coldest winter (June, July and August) on record, with an average seasonal temperature of minus 62.9ºC. This was an extraordinary 3.4ºC below the long-term average (1881-2010) for winter.


Posted by: Thomas Turk | Apr 19 2022 9:54 utc | 305

David F | Apr 19 2022 3:41 utc | 222

What is your fetish with that pic and the size of the holes? Its a bombed out section of trench - what is the big deal? I guess in some spheres of life hole size matters but I don't see the importance of it here.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 19 2022 4:31 utc | 237

I suspect he might be from Blackburn Lancashire.

Posted by: Gigo | Apr 19 2022 10:01 utc | 306

Norwegian | Apr 19 2022 6:59 utc | 274

Greenland has been over 80% ice for the last 10,000 years at least. The southern edges have always been green.

Posted by: D J G | Apr 19 2022 10:03 utc | 307

Gigo #301

Peter AU1 | Apr 19 2022 4:31 utc | 237

I suspect he might be from Blackburn Lancashire.

He successfully diverted the thread with BS, me included.
Feeding time is over.

Here is the beautiful city of Mariupol in December 2021. This is the place that the USA and Zelensky had their fascist scum destroy.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 19 2022 10:09 utc | 308

Here is the beautiful city of Odessa in February 14 2022. The resident fascist scum funded by the USA are waiting/have been installed here so they can destroy this beautiful city.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 19 2022 10:13 utc | 309

Posted by: Thomas Turk | Apr 19 2022 9:54 utc | 300

this is all horseshit. it was horseshit the first time you posted it, it's horseshit now, and it will continue to be horseshit no matter how many times you post it in the future.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Apr 19 2022 10:22 utc | 310

Ignore "Thomas Turk" with its red herrings and attempts at polarisation.

Posted by: Dadda | Apr 19 2022 10:30 utc | 311

@Boo

The analysis you quote is indeed pessimistic. One thing however the analyst doesn't mention is the manpower. You can have bazillions of hardware, without motivated, competent and courageous soldiers you won't be able to do much. One interesting but little known fact is that Germany reached a peak in production of planes and tanks (if I recall well) in 1944, thanks to Speer quite efficient reorganization. However 1944 is when Germany started suffering its biggest losses, as the shortage of experienced soldiers and aviators started to become acute.

Given the scale of losses Ukraine is suffering, I suspect they may face the same issue with a declining quality of human material. If (and I say if) the losses of Russia remain in a ratio of 1:6 or 1:7, this kind of disadvantage will only compound itself.

The most serious threat to Russia would indeed be stand-off weapons and drones able to pierce its AA defenses. The risk of a big land war would be manageable as I don't see EU countries being able to muster a significant force. given the catastrophic demography of these countries, I just can't see it. In big European countries immigrants are already in the majority among young (15-30) ; can you imagine drafting these people and trying to create a coherent and motivated army ? At most you would have a bunch of scattered mercenary units.

Posted by: Micron | Apr 19 2022 10:31 utc | 312

Could be posted already but -
This Tweet contains a 3 sec video of the burning Moskva being approached by a tugboat. (Or that’s what it claims to show anyway)
https://twitter.com/Cyberspec1/status/1515991710379098112

Conservative MSM coverage, Canada’s Globe and Mail as well as CBC (establishment if not conservative) both ran the AP news piece on German bosses, unions opposing boycott of Russian oil and natural gas. (The Globe also has a piece behind a paywall on employee-owned businesses being close to a breakout moment in Canada. How did that get in there??)

Interesting story about Canada’s embassies in Russia in the other conservative national paper, The National Post (I say, why can’t we move in with Australia if it’s necessary?)

https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/canada-has-three-embassies-in-moscow-and-spends-millions-of-rubles-on-their-upkeep

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Apr 19 2022 10:48 utc | 313

Posted by: Corsair66 | Apr 19 2022 5:59 utc | 259

"Either Russia gives up, the west provides far more and newer military technology, or the eastern part of Ukraine being taken by Russia is a foregone conclusion"

The Eastern and Southern regions are a forgone conclusion.
USA/Nato miss read the Memo.
Now they have front row seats to a Russian Army demonstration of its Military fire Power,backed up with humanitarian aid and war crimes Tribunal.

Posted by: Kim | Apr 19 2022 11:14 utc | 314

@301 Gigo "I suspect he might be from Blackburn Lancashire."

Sad to say I am old enough to get that reference.

And, no, I feel no need to count them all.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 19 2022 11:28 utc | 315

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 19 2022 10:13 utc | 304

After Z clear Donbass; Odessa. It's ambitious and risky, but land-locking Ukraine is worth it; and it's a jewel.

Mr. Putin...surround and conquer.

Posted by: Circe | Apr 19 2022 11:30 utc | 316

@D J G | Apr 19 2022 10:03 utc | 302

Greenland has been over 80% ice for the last 10,000 years at least. The southern edges have always been green.
That is not the question. The ice age ended ~10 000 years ago. The point is the Medieval Warm Period when the vikings settled in Greenland (at Brattahlíð, or 'steep slope') and harvested barley. Try and sow barley there today and observe the harvest.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 19 2022 11:40 utc | 317

The yiddistanis behind all this (nudelman, pyatt, kagan, et al) need to be punished, and the total destruction of their ancient cultural stronghold Odessa would be a nice spanking of the neocohens.

Posted by: Anon | Apr 19 2022 11:42 utc | 318

Iain (296).

Yes Iain I'm sure it would be noticed, however if the overall goal is to defeat Russia, then the best time I'd say to make some sort of move is when Russian forces are concentrated in the East around the Donbas, what might they be trying to sneak into Ukraine whilst Russian forces are focused in the East.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Apr 19 2022 11:42 utc | 319

From https://t.me/RVvoenkor/8661:


Russia has deployed the S-400 air defense system near the borders with the Kharkiv region, — the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

The purpose of the air defense systems transfer is to cover the Russian troops partially blocking Kharkiv. Transfers of the Tor air defense system were also recorded.
t.me/RVvoenkor

Interesting, Kharkov looks to be the only viable attempt at "counterattack" for the ukies at the moment, if at all. Nikolaev to Kherson is constant run and retreat with steady losses for the ukies; the rest not much different from before.

Posted by: Boo | Apr 19 2022 11:49 utc | 320

Norwegian | Apr 19 2022 11:40 utc | 312

The medieval warm period wasn't a global phenomenon. At the same time, some parts of the world were cooling.

Posted by: D J G | Apr 19 2022 11:50 utc | 321

News:
Russian forces offer nationalist battalions, mercenaries at Azovstal to lay down arms
Russia to bring this statement to the notice of the UN, the OSCE, the International Committee of the Red Cross and other international organizations

MOSCOW, April 19. /TASS/. The Russian Defense Ministry offers nationalist battalions and foreign mercenaries entrenched at the Azovstal metals plant in Mariupol to halt hostilities from 12:00 Moscow time, lay down their arms and surrender, Head of Russia’s National Defense Control Center Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev said on Tuesday.

"Considering the disastrous situation that has developed at the Azovstal metallurgical plant and also following purely humanitarian principles, the Russian Armed Forces again offer militants of nationalist battalions and foreign mercenaries to halt any combat operations from 12:00 Moscow time on April 19, 2022 and lay down their arms," the general said.

As the general stressed, "the Russian Federation guarantees everyone that his life will be preserved and all the norms of the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War will be complied with, as was the case with the Ukrainian army servicemen who earlier surrendered in Mariupol."

The Russian side also offers to establish contact from 13:00 Moscow time for data exchange, declare a ceasefire from 13:30 Moscow time and ensure that all Ukrainian military servicemen and foreign mercenaries without any exception leave Azovstal from 14:00 to 16:00 without any arms or ammunition, the general said.

"We again call on the Ukrainian authorities to show good sense, give corresponding orders to militants on the cessation of senseless resistance and leave the resistance area. However, being aware that they won’t receive such orders and commands from the Kiev regime, we call on them to make this decision on their own and lay down their arms," Mizintsev pointed out.

Russia will bring this statement to the notice of the UN, the OSCE (the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe), the International Committee of the Red Cross and other international organizations, the general said.

Posted by: JB | Apr 19 2022 11:56 utc | 322

@286 Cyberhorse "Given that Russia is well equipped with anti-air attack missiles what is it about the MQ-9 Reaper which makes it immune to being shot down?"

Nothing. Nothing at all.

The Reaper flies at about 300mph, and at a operatonal altitude of 25,000ft.

To put that into perspective the Royal Airforce at the time of the Battle of Britain (i.e. 80 years ago) would have had little trouble shooting them down using Spitfires and Hurricanes.

"I seem to recall that Iran shot one down a year or so ago much to the amazement of the US."

No, not the Reaper. The USAF would not dream of flying Reapers into Iranian airspace because they wouldn't get them back again. You are thinking of the Grumman Global Hawk, which is altogether bigger and flies nearly three times higher.

And, yes, the Americans were astounded that the Iranians shot it down. They were even more astonished that the Iranians had the finesse to shoot down the drone but left the nearby P-8 Poseidon alone.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 19 2022 11:59 utc | 323


@ Posted by: David F | Apr 19 2022 1:18 utc | 167

Steady on old chap.

Any map or photo without a scale is pretty hard to figure out unless an element of scale can be found.
A car, a railway, a tree, a tank..

Some here have already helped with that - what more are you demanding?
Go to a military site and ask the same question - you’ll get lots more input.

I thought Nancy might have been a reference to Nancy Drew - as in mystery solving - like scoobydoo.

There is the other older connotation as in ‘frightened’ as in ‘girly’ instead of ‘manly’.

There are of course in the modern day of our otherness men who can be girls and be gung-ho even as they get to partake in their homo-erotic personal sexual preference and vice-versa. That creature that has surely chosen a personal path of infamy by poncing around Khirkev with her Nazi big boy fri Ed’s on her Twitter photo - who I knew nothing about till today - is surely a creation of the loons pushing western peoples into a culturally shoving their heads up their arses to create the human caterpillars eating shit forever as their Masters slide away from having created the whole mess over centuries of avarice and omnipotence - the 15% of the human population trained to believe that the other 85% is culturally backward and incapable because they are not ‘white’.
But I transgress - there is more to say on that. But not here.

The bar has plenty of gate crashers because it has become widely quoted and its fame has spread enough for the 77th/troll squad to descend and aim to control the narratives which b and others debunk effectively. They can do no more because MoA can’t be ‘Cancelled’ - yet.

Posted by: DunGroanin | Apr 19 2022 12:01 utc | 324

Posted by: Boo | Apr 19 2022 9:39 utc | 297
"some of this guy's opinions can be quite pessimistic"

He's on the point of being a "concern troll."

"but what I share is this expectation of further escalation into Russia's territory from US/NATO"

Anything is possible, but there is little NATO can do to Russian territory that won't provoke a devastating response. It's the response people should be worried about, because that could escalate quickly if the US gets stupid - and with Biden in charge, it can easily get even more stupid than it is.

"There is still unofficial data on the transfer of MGM–140 tactical complexes, which are also in commercial quantities in warehouses in Europe. These complexes, whose range of destruction reaches 300 km, allow striking deep into the territory of Russia."

Again, these are very large vehicles. They will be seen and destroyed. Russian intelligence will know where they are because they know where they are right now and will follow them all the way to the Ukraine border.

"The first and main conclusion is that the initial stage of the military operation, when Russia could dictate its conditions and retain the initiative due to advantages in certain branches of the armed forces, has exhausted itself."

This is a nice sounding general assertion which, on closer inspection, is bullshit. Russia retains the initiative and can dictate the conditions on the field precisely to its technological advantages, air supremacy, precision stand-off weapons, etc.

"Secondly, the United States promptly compensated for the losses of the AFU in armored vehicles and artillery, and is ready to maintain this balance due to the reserve of the Warsaw Bloc and its own reserves in Europe."

Except by all accounts the US and NATO are running out of their stocks of old Soviet stuff and are hesitant to deplete their stocks of their own stuff.

"Third, there is a gradual saturation of the AFU with modern weapons, which neutralize the superiority of the Russian army and navy."

Bullshit. Pure bullshit. There is nothing coming in that can alter the outcome.

"All this leads to the obvious conclusion that it will not work in the race of resources to break Ukraine simply by slowly grinding the AFU."

There is no "race of resources." Russia can out-produce anything on the battlefield due to logistics proximity. Does this guy seriously think he knows more than the Russian General Staff? have him go over to Martyanov and see how long he lasts.

"There are enough stocks of equipment in Europe to compensate for all potential losses of the AFU."

Bullshit. They're already complaining about running out, as I noted.

This guy is nothing but a concern troll who thinks he's smarter than the Russian General Staff.

Posted by: CharlesLutherThanos | Apr 19 2022 12:10 utc | 325

One interesting but little known fact is that Germany reached a peak in production of planes and tanks (if I recall well) in 1944, thanks to Speer quite efficient reorganization

Yet Germany never went to 24-hour production unlike UK.

Germany unlike UK did not standardise aero-engine types - most of RAF flew on RR-Merlin engines and some were made under licence by Packard

Speer used slave labour and produced some overweight tanks like Tiger whereas USSR focused on T34

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | Apr 19 2022 12:13 utc | 326

Posted by: Boo | Apr 19 2022 9:39 utc | 297


So far, we are following an imposed corridor of actions, which leads to the exhaustion of our military and economic potential.
@genshab

Hopefully, the massive artillery, rocket, missile barrages that started the second phase yesterday are a sign that Russians want to bring the end of Donbass cauldron quickly, and solve the military resource race this guy is talking about.

This is basically what I was driving at with my earlier mentions on this forum that Russia needs to expand the war (via proxies, with plausible deniability) to suck the US into other conflicts across the world.

Unfortunately, pouring all their led into Donbas as you suggest won't solve this resource race, it's "whack-a-mole", it's still playing the passive game and allowing the opponent the initiative and that's a game that never ends.

They need to actively push the US/EU/NATO into seriously depleting their own resources in a very noticeable way ...

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Apr 19 2022 12:14 utc | 327

Posted by: CharlesLutherThanos | Apr 19 2022 12:10 utc | 320

I think he is engaging in worst case scenario prognostication which is extreme and does go into concern trolling territory. His point on starting attacks in Russian territory is what I wanted to bring out though.

You and others are saying that there will be devastating response. This doesn't match the observed responses so far. Out of the promised hits on decision making centers, including political ones, nothing tangible has come so far. Also, Russia has not yet crippled the railway system with trains regularly bringing armaments to Donbass and further:

https://t.me/periskop_pacific/412

Info is OSINT, in Russian, is also 2-3 days old, but largely correct.

Posted by: Boo | Apr 19 2022 12:26 utc | 328

Well if the plan involves as much destruction as possible so the IMF and the World Bank can maximize their post war involvement then it looks like the plan is working.

Posted by: mi | Apr 19 2022 12:30 utc | 329

I share many doubts with those who will be alarmed by the reappointment of Russia's Central Bank governor, and impatient that an alternative financial order seems so slow to shake off the IMF orthodoxy.

That said, as per the economic / financial war itself, I think it worth positing that Russia is not just fighting against the West tactically, but is working on a strategic level to establish an alternative financial order.

Aside from all the technical features such an order must have, there are features more fundamental than these: trust in agreements, solidity of commitments, respect for the rule of law and contracts, some sense of equity and proportionality. Yes, it's war and Russia may be forced to take certain steps, but so far it is successfully distinguishing itself from the West's reckless, arrogant, hypocritical banditry. The world outside the West is watching, and these, now, might be considered Russia's primary foreign audiences.

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Apr 19 2022 12:48 utc | 330

Norwegian@312..the Ice Age Ended....10000 years ago. Really? It's and infinite loop, cold/hot, ebb and flow....noting ends, just planetary evolution, regardless of influence. Surely it's been modeled on a computer somewhere.

Cheers M

Posted by: sean the leprechaun | Apr 19 2022 12:58 utc | 331

Posted by: Boo | Apr 19 2022 12:26 utc | 323
"You and others are saying that there will be devastating response. This doesn't match the observed responses so far."

Because the responses have been calibrated to the issue. The West sends in stuff, Russia blows it up. Simply put, Russia does not care what the West sends until it becomes a problem. Which it hasn't so far.

"Out of the promised hits on decision making centers, including political ones, nothing tangible has come so far."

Go back and read those statements. They were not "promised", they were contingent on continued actions by Kiev.

"Also, Russia has not yet crippled the railway system with trains regularly bringing armaments to Donbass and further"

What they are doing is sucking in as much of the Ukrainian reserves into Donbass as they can, or at least as many as Ukraine is sending. According to reports, most of the Ukrainian army is reduced to reserve forces who are not as well-trained and less motivated and less experienced than the current Donbass forces. So the more of them arrive in Donbass, the less effective the overall force will be. Russia can deal with them there rather than dealing with them all over Ukraine when the big push comes, as I suspect it will.

They have hit a couple of rail yards IIRC. You only have to hit one main junction on a given line to ruin the rail system sufficiently to disrupt resupply on that line.

They've also hit so arms depots all over Ukraine so that the Ukraine army is clearly running on fumes. They're reduced to running around on civilian trucks - "technicals" like ISIS in Syria.

The bottom line: Stop worrying. The Russians know what they're doing and there isn't anything in Ukraine that can alter the outcome of this war and hardly even delay it by much. The Russians took a few hits early on due to the speed of their advance, and currently there are some instances where a convoy gets hit by artillery on a localized basis. But as Ritter points out, there are no large-scale Ukrainian maneuvering, no counterattacks of any note, and that's a clear sign the Russians have things under control.

And with the Russian units north and south now consolidating into one big mailed fist, the Ukrainians in Donbass are doomed. After that, there won't be much left of the Ukrainian army in the rest of the country.

That, by the way, is one reason I don't buy the minimum figure the MoD comes out with of 23,000. If the original Ukrainian strength was 250,000, or even 200,000, that would only be ten percent reduction. That would leave another 90 percent still in operation. Well, where is it? You don't see it anywhere. So either more of it has been put out of action or they are so disorganized that nothing other than local units can operate together and the rest are hunkered down in cities and towns unable to maneuver. And if they do maneuver, they get nailed, except for localized ambushes, which the Russians are developing strategies to handle.

There simply is zero evidence that things aren't working for the Russians in a manner that they can't handle.

Sit back, grab some popcorn and watch Ukraine disintegrate. The only thing to worry about is how stupid is Biden.

Posted by: CharlesLutherThanos | Apr 19 2022 13:00 utc | 332

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | Apr 19 2022 12:13 utc | 321

Speer used slave labour and produced some overweight tanks like Tiger whereas USSR focused on T34

Do you really think such propaganda piece called slave labour?

Posted by: Roberto | Apr 19 2022 13:03 utc | 333

Posted by: CharlesLutherThanos | Apr 19 2022 13:00 utc | 327

Cheers, Richard. Hopefully, the cauldron(s) are dealt with efficiently and the Russians are saving their ammo for the bigger hunt.

Posted by: Boo | Apr 19 2022 13:13 utc | 334

NYT justifying Uke forces use of banned cluster munitions to bomb Ukrainian towns, because, you know, dislodge Russian forces.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/18/world/europe/ukraine-forces-cluster-munitions.html

“It’s not surprising, but it’s definitely dismaying to hear that evidence has emerged indicating that Ukraine may have used cluster munitions in this current conflict,” said Mary Wareham, advocacy director of the arms division at Human Rights Watch. “Cluster munitions are unacceptable weapons that are killing and maiming civilians across Ukraine.”

“An adviser to the Ukrainian armed forces and the Ministry of Defense declined to comment.

Posted by: Krypton | Apr 19 2022 13:13 utc | 335

It seems to me we are at a very dangerous point and edging towards a hot Russia/NATO war. This is my summary of the course of events so far:

Step 1. Russia went all out for an easy diplomatic solution. Agree to Minsk for the two breakaways, accept Russia has control of Crimea and agree Ukraine never part of NATO. Essentially this was status quo with certainty - a good deal for everyone. a) Russia gets a genuine neutral buffer state, b) the Russians in the east get autonomy and right to language and culture, c) Russia is assured of no more eastern expansion and threatening nukes,d) probably sanctions could be lifted, e) the economies of Russia, Ukraine, China,Caucasus states and Germany get a boost. However much to the surprise of many this sensible option was rejected.

Step 2: Russia considers various options for putting pressure on the west- technological/military responses. The something spooks them big time and they opt for the Special Operation in the Donbass. it was probably the nuclear weapons statements plus the evidence of a first strike on Crimea etc and possibly the bioweapons fear. Whatever it was Russia launched the Special Operation with limited objectives. - Achieve independence for the two breakaways given Minsk impossible , knock some sense into Europe so they would agree Ukraine not part of NATO (achieves a, b, and c goals of step 1, probably also most of e). The added objective was to de nazify Ukraine with a reform of government Lets us call this goal (f. Despite substantial destruction of Ukrainian military and clear threat to European industry via the disrupted gas supply and very, very much to the surprise of many this did not work. Attempts at negotiating a settlement failed. Ukrainian resistance was stronger than expected, Germany went insane and cities which had 8 years earlier like Karkov did not capitulate.

Step 3: Regrouping and reassessment as the battle looks like stretching out for a long time. Economic sanctions and quite vicious cultural depredations FINALLY make it clear to Russians of all kinds that the west will never accept them. Russia gives up its strategy of surrounding Kiev in order to get negotiations and switches focus to the fortified areas of the east. Mariupol is the principal focus. The west is hardening its approach and the PR war is totally lost for Russia-it was even before step 1 but I guess they still had hope.

Step 4: With the hard task of Mariupol mostly finished, the sinking of the flag ship is the very last straw and Russia switches from Special Operation to full on war. This is where we are now. I have no real idea about what Russia's new objectives are, but I would be guessing that taking out Odessa and the whole black sea coast would be a critical goal. Destroying supply lines into Ukraine from Poland would be the other.Russia cannot have strategic security with a hostile nation controlling Odessa. This is terribly sad, but is now one of the directions the war must take. The real issue become what will the USA and its NATO poodles do now. We may well know this in the next few hours.

Posted by: watcher | Apr 19 2022 13:15 utc | 336

CLT/RSH @243
Hello, that "very hot girl" is Maryana Naumova, a World champion powerlifter. In March she recorded a very good rebuttal to Arnold Schwarzenegger.


Posted by: boon | Apr 19 2022 13:18 utc | 337

Posted by: Krypton | Apr 19 2022 13:13 utc | 330

NYT justifying Uke forces use of banned cluster munitions to bomb Ukrainian towns, because, you know, dislodge Russian forces.

Were the Russians holding Kramatorsk when that missile hit?
More seriously, another indication the war is clearly escalating here as well IMO. The fact that the Western System needs to take control of Russia's resources to survive is getting more evident by the day. It's a war for survival for Russia, as much as it is so for Wall Street.

Posted by: foxbatFR | Apr 19 2022 13:21 utc | 338

b thank you for providing the best blog on the net, in these days.

CharlesLutherThanos | Apr 19 2022 7:44 utc | 279


RSH/CLT Thank you for providing this video for us that can not get into Telegram. Blessings on your house.

Posted by: Dodgy Bodger | Apr 19 2022 13:28 utc | 339

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 19 2022 6:59 utc | 274

Thanks for correction viz Dalton vs Daunton. Surprised I didn't write Downton! It's been that long since read about climate stuff, I guess.

First studied it after reading Climate and the Affairs of Men by Iben Browning. His earthquake predictions were wobbly, to say the least, but his survey of climate and history was fascinating. He also mentioned in passing that the ACC theory was essentially hubris on our parts; I agreed then and agree now. Not to mention that there are so many micro and macro variables that the entire subject matter is unsuitable for the scientific method to analyze as the hopelessly inaccurate models reliably demonstrate. Put another way: even if ACC does exist, we lack the ability to accurately measure the differences between any natural versus ACC elements in any given time period (day, year, decade, century). For some reason people seem unable to understand this extremely simple fact. And that's long before you get into later controversies involving politicization, funding, delusion and so forth.
Those who refuse to engage on the subject essentially are making the right decision. Saves everyone's time and blood pressure!! I was just responding to someone here who was getting angry that nobody would respond. Frankly, it's like soliciting opinions about WWII atrocities, but I decided to give a reply anyway against my better judgment.
Anyway, not the subject of this board.
Although that subject might also involve the immanent end of the world!!

Posted by: Scorpion | Apr 19 2022 13:31 utc | 340

CLT/RSH @243
Sorry I forgot the link to her message.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ks8hLV_P8lk

Posted by: boon | Apr 19 2022 13:33 utc | 341

Just to add to CharlesLutherThanos@327,

Taking out rail connections is akin to taking out bridges -- the purpose of such strikes is to prevent or delay the transit of arms and personnel. The reason for doing so is if you're on the back-foot and unprepared to counter the strengthening of a particular front-line position and need to buy time to reorganize. Ukrainians are doing so everywhere where they expect a Russian advance and, if they believed Russia was using Ukrainian rail to move or reinforce positions, they would actively target rail as well. Indeed, perhaps the Ukrainians are doing it in some capacity even now, only without reporting on it, since they actively sabotaged rail lines as they were being pushed out of Donbass in 2015 and it did cause the people's militia certain problems and a major ball-ache to restore in the years after that.

In any case, if Russia suddenly starts blowing up bridges and rail lines en masse, it might signal that they are expecting an overwhelming force which they are ill prepared to deal with.

Posted by: Skiffer | Apr 19 2022 13:33 utc | 342

Re Helmer article: thanks to all commenting. And thanks for the links.

My thinking is that the Kremlin has never been properly fumigated since Yeltsin left. And that without descending to conspiracies it is clear that the Harvard/Chicago boys impressed a number of key people with their bogus neo-liberal theories. In other words, there is a deep belief in the "truth" of economic and social theories which benefit imperialism and cause real, deep harm to the people of Russia.
I sympathise with those who justify policies which included selling Russia's gold production in the last year in London for money which is now frozen but I cannot see how this benefits the Russians. Maybe I am missing something- I must be- but I cannot see the logic in a policy which preserves McDonald's assets while throwing its employees into the ranks of the unemployed.
I has hoped, just as I did of the pandemic in the USA, that this crisis would lead to a sharp departure from the policies of monopoly capitalism and lead to the political mobilisation of the working class.
As has been pointed out (Arch Bungle@7) nothing is more calculated to shatter the thin shell of Ukrainian/Nazi nationalism than a concerted attack on the rats nest of oligarchical power that sponsors it-just as the German cartels did- to preserve a system of unrestrained exploitation. The history of post soviet Ukraine is of continuous struggle between oligarchs and the immiseration and forced emigration of millions.
The actual cause of this conflict is to preserve the existence of the incredibly brave people of the Donbas. There is a reason why they called their hard-shelled states Peoples Republics. The Chinese would understand.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 19 2022 13:38 utc | 343

@ David F | Apr 18 2022 21:03 utc | 82


How big was this structure? Was it 30 meters by 10 meters? Was it 300 meters by 100 meters? How large is the crater from whatever munitions the Russians are using.

About this aerial photography again, you can get a sense of the scale thanks to the trees that are visibles. Even if there is no leaf, you can recognize the trees by looking at the long casted shadows (the picture must have been taken at the early morning).
So my estimation for the size of the building at the center is 7 x 10 meters, and the craters are about 2 meters of diameter.
Having lived near an artillery exercise facility, my observation was that impact craters are about 50cm wide when exercise munition are used. When real war munitions are used, it must be much bigger.

Posted by: Flo | Apr 19 2022 13:40 utc | 344

Posted by: Thomas Turk | Apr 19 2022 9:54 utc | 300
Re: 2)The climate is so complex it is impossible to model or predict. -3)The inherent complexity ensure it will always be changing and nothing man does impacts that.

Agree on 2. And because of 2 it is practically impossible to determine 3. I have doubts because, for example, what if we chopped down 75% of all trees in the world, what would happen? Or what if Big Ag totally destroys the Great Plains micro-organisms through massive monoculture? These things are unlikely but possible/doable. I suspect that deforestation has already effected climate but whether it is in any truly meaningful way, i.e. a way that the ecosystem does not self-correct over time, again goes back to 2.

And before you get to modeling or predicting you have to be able to accurately measure all inputs. That takes you back to your 1: climate science is in its infancy. Indeed it is and most likely it will stay there for a long time. Meanwhile, we should all learn how to live sane, productive and joyful lives. That would be a good start!


Posted by: Scorpion | Apr 19 2022 13:46 utc | 345

battle lines in area around Oskol(Oskil) and Severskiy Donets rivers, according to Rybar
These waterways are important barriers. Perhaps advancing eastwards from Izyum (top left) would require doing it simultaneously on both sides of the Donets

https://i.ibb.co/fNVJJ6z/19-04-16-00-1.jpg

Posted by: ptb | Apr 19 2022 13:48 utc | 346

correction - Izyum is center left, I was zoomed in

Posted by: ptb | Apr 19 2022 13:49 utc | 347

Donets river around the bottom edge of this map south of Lyman

Posted by: ptb | Apr 19 2022 13:55 utc | 348

@Norwegian | Apr 19 2022 6:59 utc | 274

Thanks for the detail about the Grand Solar Minimum. In addition, there are also the effects of the movement of the poles to take into account. I do not see any serious attempt by governments in the west to deal with the issue.

Posted by: cirsium | Apr 19 2022 13:58 utc | 349

@sean the leprechaun | Apr 19 2022 12:58 utc | 326

Norwegian@312..the Ice Age Ended....10000 years ago. Really?

Yes, this is common knowledge... or should be. Although more accurately it was 11700 years ago.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleistocene

The Pleistocene ( /ˈplaɪs.təˌsiːn, -toʊ-/ PLYSE-tə-seen, -⁠toh-,[5] often referred to as the Ice Age) is the geological epoch that lasted from about 2,580,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the earth's most recent period of repeated glaciations.

Obviously, the above is the latest ice age. There will be many more. We live in a short interglacial period.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 19 2022 14:04 utc | 350

From an unknown Russian source (translated):

<>

The cruiser Moscow died in an unequal battle. His crew showed true heroism.

On the night of April 14, a massive missile and air strike (MRAU) was inflicted on the cruiser Moskva by the forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The attack was planned and coordinated by NATO specialists based in Odessa. The place and time of the attack on Moscow was chosen on purpose, when there were neutral merchant ships in the area near the cruiser, which did not allow the commander of Moscow to use the entire range of weapons to repel the attack.

At the ship, as is already customary in Ukraine, they fired at everything that was ready to shoot at a surface target. According to confirmed information, the MRAU was inflicted by Kh-35 missiles from Su-24 tactical bombers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the RK-360MTs Neptune coastal missile system. The target designation was given by the NATO Global Hawk unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, the Bayraktar TB-2 UAVs delivered a distracting strike.

The ship has been closely monitored for the last few days, concentrated forces, worked out all the possibilities for a strike. As a result, on the night of April 13-14, 22 aviation and coastal anti-ship missiles were launched at the cruiser Moskva. The launching positions of the coastal complexes were located along the coast from Chernomorsk to Ochakov, a link of bombers entered from the Crimea.

During the anti-missile battle, the crew of the cruiser managed to repel the missile strike, destroying 20 of the 22 attacking missiles, 2 Bayraktar TB-2 UAVs and 1 Su-24.

In repelling a missile strike, the S-300F Fort and Osa-M air defense systems worked perfectly. Only 3 Neptune anti-ship missiles were able to break through directly to the ship, and the commander faced a difficult choice. Apply the PK-2, PK-10, which would cover Moscow with a cloud of chaff, but then the missiles would be aimed at neutral merchant ships.

Moscow did not hide and met the missiles with artillery fire. 1 missile was shot down, 2 hit the cruiser on the left side, a massive fire began, which led to a partial detonation of artillery ammunition and a violation of the hull's tightness. The cruiser began to sink, but was able to independently reach the coast of Crimea. After exhausting all means of fighting for the survivability of the cruiser, the commander ordered the crew to leave the ship.

During the battle and the struggle for damage, the crew, as befits the crew of a flagship, acted in a coordinated manner, showing heroism and courage in an unequal battle.

Why the details of this night are being hidden from us is not clear.

NATO analysts are still in shock from how one of the oldest ships of the Black Sea Fleet showed itself in a missile battle. We have all seen the Pentagon's statements that the ship, after the battle, independently retreated to the coast of Crimea. Moscow single-handedly repelled an attack that, according to NATO standards, can only be successfully repulsed by a tactical group of ships.

It makes no sense to shield Zelensky and his American friends.

The ship died heroically in battle, each member of the crew is a hero.

Why the official representatives of the Ministry of Defense do not tell the real story of the last battle of "Moscow", but prefer to remain silent - is incomprehensible.

Posted by: Victor | Apr 19 2022 14:11 utc | 351

@Posted by: Scorpion | Apr 19 2022 13:31 utc | 335

Not to mention that there are so many micro and macro variables that the entire subject matter is unsuitable for the scientific method to analyze as the hopelessly inaccurate models reliably demonstrate. Put another way: even if ACC does exist, we lack the ability to accurately measure the differences between any natural versus ACC elements in any given time period (day, year, decade, century).
Yes. And by definition, what cannot be measured properly, and therefore not falsifiable, is not science.
For some reason people seem unable to understand this extremely simple fact.
It is because their understanding is founded in ideology, not science.


Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 19 2022 14:12 utc | 352

This is my thought to the question: It is not a plan of Ukrainian government. They just do what US-loyal IWF man demand them to do, not to be declared bankrupt this afternoon.

Posted by: Johnny | Apr 19 2022 14:16 utc | 353

@331 watcher
Agreed on criticality of this time in the war. Sorry, forgot who brought it up, if the US really provides Reapers and Moscow is hit, look for strikes on DC and EU decision centers.
This shit is getting real.

Posted by: morongobill | Apr 19 2022 14:21 utc | 354

Medvedev, https://t.me/readovkanews/31376:


The situation due to the economic war against the Russian Federation is difficult, but it will not be possible to strangle the country - Medvedev

The Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council also noted that the strengthening of NATO at the Russian borders is no longer a figure of speech, and Moscow should be ready for possible aggressive actions.

Posted by: Boo | Apr 19 2022 14:21 utc | 355

@cirsium | Apr 19 2022 13:58 utc | 344

Thanks for the detail about the Grand Solar Minimum. In addition, there are also the effects of the movement of the poles to take into account. I do not see any serious attempt by governments in the west to deal with the issue.
You are welcome. Note that the movement of the poles refer to the magnetic poles, not the geographical ones. Today, we see Solar radiation protection by the Earths magnetic field at my latitudes and a bit more as Aurora Borealis or Northern Ligths. The Norwegian poet Petter Dass who lived during the Maunder Minimum in the area of Nordland never reported seeing Aurora Borealis because of the Grand Solar Minimum at that time. Today, it is common even with lots of light pollution.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 19 2022 14:34 utc | 356

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Apr 19 2022 12:14 utc | 322
"They need to actively push the US/EU/NATO into seriously depleting their own resources in a very noticeable way ..."

I believe that current kinetic operations are merely one battle in a wider world war, most of which is being waged asymmetrically in the realms of finance, trade, alliances and mass media (whose importance is principally for the home audiences to maintain authority/credibility and should be judged accordingly).

In terms of 'seriously depleting their own resources' therefore we must consider other than only military resources. In this regard, Russia has already achieved, imo, a huge advantage is not outright victory even at this early stage involving open hostilities: USD hegemony has been permanently damaged by the cancel culture writ large 'sanctions.' If the West wanted to sabotage their heft in world finance and trade they couldn't have come up with a better way of doing so, for which reason this is more likely sabotage than stupidity just as with every single policy move made by "Biden" administration being clearly designed to destroy the country as a functioning representative republic.

If this is true that "Biden" is destroying the USA as fast as possible then he is on the side of the Eurasians who also want to bring the Empire down. No matter what happens in Ukraine, the Empire is coming down month by month drip by drip. However, the Ukraine kinetic operations will provide a convenient logic for why America and Europe are about to enter economic depression with food shortages, riots, political incoherence, breakdown of social order, rule of law and so on. Maybe this is not a coordinated conspiracy with collusion on both sides (though that is quite possible esp. given the Biden family's ascension to power after being involved in significant kickback operations in both Ukraine and China coincidentally enough) but it might just as well be.

The longer the kinetic operation in Ukraine goes on, the further the West falls economically and internationally with internal political turmoil and confusion mounting. America is more far-gone this way than Europe but this whole business is revealing to many Europeans just how weak, feckless and pathetic their leadership classes are.

In other words, there is military equipment depletion and politico-social capital depletion. The longer this goes on in the Ukraine theater, the stronger Eurasian axis becomes and the weaker the Western axis becomes. Advantage Russia.

Incrementalism: one possible good reason for Russia's hesitancy to go full bear on Europe (withhold gas, turn off power in entire Ukraine etc.) is the following possible which I like to entertain as a positive aspiration, namely that Russia wishes to position herself as the Central Kingdom in a newly emerging Eurasian civilization which will stretch from Lisbon to Vladivostock. Also, Russia can act as an anchor to Western European civilization which has lost its way thanks to the parasitical dominance of the Money Power sectors who have corrupted the moral core of European society. This is a grand, noble vision for Mother Russia and I suspect this might be what Putin and others have in mind. Of course, this might be a fanciful fantasy on my part and entirely wrong.

Because the other possibility is that this is, essentially, a phony war in that both sides are serving the same masters as to a large extent was the case in WW II. Time will tell. Will the big conference today come up with a substantive Western proposal which will prevent Russia from obliterating 50-100,000 men in Donbass? Will Russia take the entire East from Odessa to Kiev (increasingly likely) or be satisfied with Donbass and Crimea (doubtful)? I suspect both sides believe they can defeat the other through the depletion you mention and therefore both sides want this to continue. Russia wants to demilitarize and denazify ASAP, sure, but after that the sanctions war will continue and low-grade conflict at the new border which will suit both sides just fine.

Posted by: Scorpion | Apr 19 2022 14:47 utc | 357

Re: climate: The warm period before the current one we are now in was called the Eemian and was about 120,000 years ago. Based on evidence from ice cores, etc, it was 3-4 degrees F warmer then than today, and the sea level back then was 20-50 feet higher than today. Yet the carbon dioxide content was only 180 ppm back then. There have been at least 20 major ice advances and retreats since the Pleistocene began.

Posted by: Boomheist | Apr 19 2022 14:52 utc | 358

@Norwegian
You are off topic and you know it. And me too with this post if it gets through. Apologies b. Norwegian, you might know Ben Davidsons youtube channel SuspiciousObservers if not, maybe you want to check it out. Fascinating stuff, Some key points: "The next end of the world" Micro Nova, geographic pole shift, daily space weather..... I am at a loss to decide if believable or BS, but it blows my mind. Have fun.

Posted by: Space Weather | Apr 19 2022 15:08 utc | 359

bevin | Apr 19 2022 13:38 utc | 338

Something to think on. Communist USSR was unable to produce enough grain to feed itself. Russia is the or one of the largest wheat exporters in the world. The communists of the day were unable to create a viable economy -
Russia now is under more financial pressure from the outside than the USSR was yet it is the western economy that is in danger with US having to break its own sanctions.
China has pulled 800 million people out of poverty in the last few decades by the way it has set up its economy. That economy has also I believe created more billionaires in China than any other country. Russia has come from the other side of the spectrum, taking power away from the oligarchs while pulling many people out of the poverty of the nineties.

Crooke has a good piece here.
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2022/04/18/errors-both-tactical-and-of-strategic-consequence/

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 19 2022 15:13 utc | 360

Hey you, yeah you in Europe working two jobs just to keep the lights and heating on, guess what, the EU is going to rebuild Ukraine using hundreds of billions of Euros, and you and your family and your children will pay for it.


"The European Union is planning to provide most of the funds needed for Ukraine’s reconstruction, Bloomberg reported citing sources in the European Commission.

According to the publication, the commission is working on a scheme which would support Ukraine on a long-term basis as the bloc expects to be responsible for providing the lion’s share of the funds for the country’s reconstruction. To do that, the EU plans to set up a solidarity trust fund. It will reportedly be based on the post-Covid-19 recovery fund for EU member states and help finance investments and reforms in Ukraine, the sources said.

The EC has not unveiled the exact amount of money they plan for the fund to raise, as Russia’s military operation in Ukraine is still ongoing. However, sources say the figure would amount to hundreds of billions of euros over the next several decades. "

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Apr 19 2022 15:15 utc | 361

nope love all these "science supporters" who just ignore what scientists say to spew fossil fuel propaganda. see, the fossil fuel companies don't agree with you. that's why they, will all their billions, have not produced ONE SINGLE STUDY to refute the science. you people like to pretend that the fossil fuel industry does not have immense political influence, and is helpless before a conspiracy of scientists to distort the facts. you're lying. right now we have more immediate concerns, but this is not going away, all your fake history and faked science aside.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Apr 19 2022 15:24 utc | 362

math is very complicated. it is impossible to do math. nuclear engineering, very complicated, impossible. you people might tell every major science organization about this, or better yet, do you groundbreaking experiments and claim your billions from the poor persecuted fossil fuel companies. after all, you're all scientists. tell them about the poles, and the sun, and all the other stuff those evil scientists, including ones in Russia and China, don't want us to know about.this is the same bullshit I've been hearing since the early 90's. it never changes. kinda like NATO propaganda.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Apr 19 2022 15:28 utc | 363

@ K | 283

Western liberalism = neoliberalism

Posted by: Doug Hillman | Apr 19 2022 15:29 utc | 364

The sordid story of the sinking of the Russian cruiser- that it was a NATO project, carried out by NATO personnel using 100% non Ukrainian weapons, systems and intelligence- cannot be published because it is a legal casus belli.
It signals that war is actually being waged by NATO against the Russian Federation, the Donbas republics and the people of Ukraine. Which makes every NATO country a legitimate target. Latvia needs to do nothing more... it has already started the war. So has Poland and every other country up to and including the USA.
Russia will say nothing. But similar discretion is unlikely on the other side. BoJo was born to boast, he will almost certainly claim that `his`RN did the deed. And Macron will be sorely tempted, in mid campaign, to swagger and strut.
After all, as Helmer points points today. NATO has switched easily back into its most familiar, colonial, fascist thinking. Race hatred of Russia is being openly promoted- the slav as asiatic, untermenschen, with less than human sensitivities, brutish and uncultured is dancing again on the lips of the grandchildren of the Third Reich.

“We should not forget even if Russians look European, they are not European. In a cultural sense they think differently about violence, or death. Instead, life can end early with death..Russian life expectancy is quite low, you know. That’s why they treat death differently, that people simply die.” Source: https://twitter.com/

``....This excerpt from a popular German television talk show is the most explicit advocacy of race hatred for Russians by a German whose funding is official. The speaker is Florence Gaub. She used to be an employee of the NATO Defence College; she is now paid to be the deputy director of the European Union for Security Studies (EUISS), a think tank funded directly by the EU.

``Gaub also makes her living on the side with a Ukraine support front called the Alpbach Foundation. This was created in Austria in 2005. The foundation does not publish its sources of money but they appear to originate from the Austrian Erste banking group whose former chief executive, Andreas Treichl, directs Alpbach. Alpbach and Treichl are also connected directly to the Soros, Bilderberg and Trilateral organizations.``
http://johnhelmer.net/race-hatred-vice-versa-what-russians-dont-feel-towards-americans-europeans/#more-47930

Posted by: bevin | Apr 19 2022 15:30 utc | 365

Russian forces progress on 2 axes North of Slaviansk, one of the keys of the frontline. By the same token, SEverodonetsk could be envelopped from the West. Looks like the Ukies have a tank brigade nearby, so could these moves be a feint to get them out of the way to Barvinkovo?

Posted by: foxbatFR | Apr 19 2022 15:35 utc | 366

@David F
There appears remains of a RR line upper left, approx 5 ft rail to rail, most of the impacts would be 6-8ft. Assuming these are rockets and not artillery or the craters would be quite a bit larger.

My experience with 1/4 sticks, not one of them would blow a 2 foot deep hole in the soil of Upstate NY, not even close. Buried, they might manage a foot across and half that deep. Any one of those rocket impacts would be enough to level a wood construction two car garage etc.

Posted by: Miller | Apr 19 2022 15:35 utc | 367

another map, which follows the geography a bit more. (note there are smaller north-south tributaries to the Donets river, each with a little hillside or valley, as well as N-S lines of roads/settlement, roughly where the 'fingers' on this map are)

telegram-image-link

extracted from: https://t.me/akimapachev/2199

Posted by: ptb | Apr 19 2022 15:35 utc | 368

Yesterday I posted on Twitter at Rob Lee, one of the pro-Western military analysts who has a large following:

@RALee85
Given that Russian now has air, missile and artillery superiority over most of Ukraine, wouldn't the conventional military advice be to surrender, to preserve lives (mil and civ) and infrastructure?

I didn't necessarily expect a reply from him, but probably a pile-on from his followers, who are 95% certain Ukraine is winning. But nothing, crickets.

Secondly the Brit merc Aidan Aslin, who claims to have not participated in any atrocities was captured wearing an Azov T shirt (which fitted him nicely, obviously his own) which suggests he wasn't in the Ukraine army at all but with the Nazis.

Posted by: JulianJ | Apr 19 2022 15:35 utc | 369

Another map of the izyum-lyman region. follows the geography and lines of roads/settlements more.

https://imgur.com/Clyxokt

[extracted from telegram https://t.me/akimapachev/2199]

Posted by: ptb | Apr 19 2022 15:39 utc | 370

Lots of interesting aspects to this thread, and I would like to thank all participants, most of all b who enables us to be here.

As some know, I recently did a few posts on Victor Hugo's Les Miserables. A central issue in the book is the seige of Napoleon's forces by the British and allies, which Hugo describes in great detail. I posted several extracts describing the surges and pitfalls of that war. We have discussed Hitler's and Napoleon's wars, WWI and WW2, but I think what we are seeing at present also relates to Waterloo.

Specifically, I am thinking of a saying, not sure who said it in US officialdom: What's the good of having an army if you don't use it? (Or words to that effect.) Which is what both sides in this war have been needing to do - get rid of a lot of the old in order that the new can come into effect. Russia has the new; the west needs it. But even Russia has had to 'get rid of' old weapons - or rather saw that the surplus of those could be used effectively without even depleting the new stores. So, they could go into battle with both.

That makes this a transitional point in the war, which also Waterloo was. Old ways of fighting were the French attacks with magnificent horse platoons, bravery and sacrifice. The Brits applied new age strategies - go to Hugo's meticulous accounts for a sense of this transitional conflict. (The description is near the end of the first part of the novel.)

The discussion of global weather is not out of place. It was, after all, the weather that played a part at the Battle of Waterloo.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 19 2022 15:45 utc | 371

Peter AU1
Thanks. The USSR made a big mistake in its agricultural policy, in part because it sought to imitate what it saw as ``successful` corporate farming in the USA. Which, incidentally, couldn`t feed itself either.
As to using exports of food as a measure of success, it presumes that what is exported is surplus to domestic needs. That was notoriously not true of Irish food exports in the 1840s and it rarely has been true-India was (perhaps still is) a major wheat exporter. The question is always whether those producing the food and their fellow workers get enough to eat. The fundamental source of all food exports is from the plates of the producers`compatriots.

I do not know enough about the current Russian economy to know but the likelihood is that food is distributed there by selling it, which means that any surplus above what the market purchases is liable to be exported. And the price is set by the international market. Which means that, one of the costs of wheat exports is hunger at home. I hope that I am wrong and that there are no children left without bread when the freighters full of wheat leave the Black Sea ports.
But I know that in the USA and Canada there is increasing `food insecurity and more people are reduced to using Food Banks, all the time, while the exporters are in a booming business.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 19 2022 15:57 utc | 372

Posted by: Scorpion | Apr 19 2022 14:47 utc | 351

Thanks for your detailed response.


"They need to actively push the US/EU/NATO into seriously depleting their own resources in a very noticeable way ..."

I believe that current kinetic operations are merely one battle in a wider world war, most of which is being waged asymmetrically in the realms of finance, trade, alliances and mass media (whose importance is principally for the home audiences to maintain authority/credibility and should be judged accordingly).

In terms of 'seriously depleting their own resources' therefore we must consider other than only military resources. In this regard, Russia has already achieved, imo, a huge advantage is not outright victory even at this early stage involving open hostilities

You're right on these points, of course. The only question is whether these non-military are able to engage and distract the military resources of the Empire before they are able to apply them to the detriment of Russian interests and whether the Empire will "run out of gas" before the Russian Federation does. These are fine and critical calculations with very little leeway for error.

Only Time will tell ...

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Apr 19 2022 16:00 utc | 374

juliania | Apr 19 2022 15:45 utc | 363

One aspect I am seeing here is that Russia seems to have gone into a war mode that is economically sustainable. The size of the force, economical and limited use of the more expensive guided weapons ect.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 19 2022 16:03 utc | 375

Lavrov was interviewed today by India Today TV, but the transcript hasn't been made available yet. TASS has several small snippets of which this one is most important for this thread but says very little:

"Russia begins another stage of its special military operation in Ukraine to liberate the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR respectively), Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.

"'Another stage of this operation (in eastern Ukraine) is beginning and I am sure this will be a very important moment of this entire special operation,' Lavrov said speaking in an interview with India Today television channel."

RT has nothing, while Sputnik adds this snippet:

"'We are not up for regime change in Ukraine,' Lavrov said in his interview with broadcaster India Today."

Now, that remark somewhat surprises me, although I believe something was omitted: Ukrainians will decide the fate of their government, not Russia, which is an important distinction.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 19 2022 16:03 utc | 376

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 19 2022 16:03 utc | 368


"'We are not up for regime change in Ukraine,' Lavrov said in his interview with broadcaster India Today."

Now, that remark somewhat surprises me, although I believe something was omitted: Ukrainians will decide the fate of their government, not Russia, which is an important distinction.

I find it remarkable how similar Putin's approach to Ukraine is to Georgia 2008.

There too, Russia did nothing to the existing state hierarchy, leaving Saakashvilli in place for his own people to boot out.

There as well, they avoided moving on the capital Tblisi and in fact bypassed it directly on to Poti where they were able to dismantle the Georgian Navy.

It's clear they know that once this is over, regime change will happen automatically. The only question is in which direction ...

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Apr 19 2022 16:09 utc | 377

I'm somewhat amazed that with hundreds of billons of dollars in military arms and "training" the US has pumped into Europe over the past 20 years, NATO arms caches have been "dangerously depleted" after only a month of conflict. By comparison, after the fall of the Soviet Union, the Soviet arms catches inherited NATO were apparently enough to supply US backed insurgencies in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and South America for almost 30yrs (360 months vs 1 month!). The Soviets must have really overproduced weapons to create that much a backlog of arms that it was able to give the Americans a free ride on arms supplies for 3 decades.

This is where it gets interesting, Since the old Soviet Arms are now almost completely exhausted (according to the NATO states themselves), in order to counter Russia, will the US and its' vassals be able to ramp up their own arms production? the West is in the middle of massive debt bubble/inflation/energy crisis. Do they even have the resources to divert social funding to the arms industry; are we going to see another massive social collapse and breakup in the West over the next 3-5yrs. The West has completely abandoned the materially productive economic model in favor of the financialization of debt economic model, without the raw materials of Russia to act as collateral for additional financialization, can the West even survive?

Posted by: Kadath | Apr 19 2022 16:15 utc | 378

Anon #313

On to Odessa. There is a crime against the people yet to be avenged there. Besides a new song is in order and a Russian song sounds fine to me.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 19 2022 16:27 utc | 379

As to the Western arms deliveries: A few days ago, some US or UK Nato source boasted in an infographic about the delivery of 40k MANPADs and 60k ATGM or so to Ukraine.
There was a comment in a Ukrainian telegram channel: "Ok, but do they send us new Ukrainians, too?"

This is highlighting that operating such shoulder operated weaponry is arguably more risky for the operator than for the armor and aircraft targeted. Every launch reveals the position of the attacker which is subject to countermeasures. Helicopter assault units operate in packs, attacks on one of them immediately responded by the rest. And moreover, manually/optically operated devices by ground personnel are susceptible to shaking ground during artillery barrages. his is particularly true for the Switchblade complex which, in addition, is insanely heavy for an infantry fighter. It also needs bidirectional data links between device and operator making it an easy target for locating and ECM.

It is hard to see how those Wunderwaffen are any useful outside the usual "Western wars" against weaker opponents under conditions of overwhelming air and ground superiority

Posted by: aquadraht | Apr 19 2022 16:29 utc | 380

@Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 19 2022 15:13 utc | 354

Stalin was pro the New Economic Policy (NEP) until it became obvious that the West would do whatever it could to destroy the young communist nation. So, he changed his mind and implemented full collectivization and state planning to industrialize the USSR. At the time, the USSR was predominantly a rural nation subject to repeated famines. Collectivization turned into a class war with the Kulaks (the landlords and larger farmers), who were hated by the majority of the serfs. Combined with a drought in 1931 and 1932, there was widespread famine in many areas (not just Ukraine). The following year (1933) produced a bumper harvest. The industrialization drive created in the USSR in a decade what had taken the US many decades - industrialization. Without it Nazi Germany would have defeated the USSR and the lebensraum would have been implemented.

The agricultural experience of China is nearly exactly the same, with the destruction of the landlords and a famine exacerbated (1959-61) by misreporting of output and communist incompetence (e.g. the crazy drive to "Smash the Sparrow" as it was seen as a pest). The Chinese did not have the same quality of leadership as the USSR of the 1930s though, and the industrialization drive was nowhere near as successful. Not helped by Mao's split with the USSR in the early 1960s. After this, some private plots were reinstated etc. and food production did increase. The real take-off was after 1978 with the incremental deregulation of farming (which did benefit greatly from the previous increases in industrial farming and high levels of literacy brought by the communists). Deng basically did an agricultural NEP in careful stages, with the class enemies already having been wiped out by Mao. Its notable that Deng, and may other senior communists, spent significant time in the countryside where they were banished to during the Cultural Revolution.

Russia could have had the same experience if in the post-WW2 period they had followed the Chinese post-1961 policies and then those put in place by Deng. Instead the leadership ossified and they fell back on fossil fuel revenues to buy foreign food products. The USSR leadership was also not well educated in science, especially agriculture, so complete idiots who rejected science also affected agricultural policies. Then in 1989 Gorbachev decided against a careful move to the free market without political opening up (the route taken by China once the liberalizing wing of the Party had been neutralized after Tiananmen) and destroyed the Soviet Union.

Putin seems to be painfully and slowly moving back to a mixed economy, although his seeming liberal economic beliefs and the oligarchs keep getting in the way. Hopefully, he uses this opportunity to fully implement the China model - capital controls, protect of infant industries, state development banking, and state direction to a mixed market economy. Without that Russia will keep stumbling along. Its also the model followed by all successfully industrializing economies, including the UK and the US. The UK very heavily protected the UK textile industry from Indian competition (and went out of its way to destroy the Indian textile industry once it got full control of India) until its textile industry was dominant. Only when dominant did the UK become "free market" oriented (in the context of a massive captured market in the colonies).

Posted by: Roger | Apr 19 2022 16:31 utc | 381

getting back on topic, I am glad to make common cause with science deniers against this latest attempt by the empire to maintain it's control over the systems of the world. people who think evolution is a plot by communists to topple god, or that the moon landing was faked on a stage in Roswell, or that the earth is flat, all welcome in this moment of crisis.

one of my specific concerns at the moment is the apparent resistance by the Central Bank in Russia to dealing more effectively with the sanctions. something stinks there.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Apr 19 2022 16:32 utc | 382

bevin @364--

During Putin's latest meeting on the economy, he stressed the issue of food security and the point that Russians be fed prior to foods being exported such that export quotas needed to be reviewed to ensure that policy. In every economic policy meeting I've read about, Putin's priority is always the wellbeing of Russians. The recent meeting about the arctic and policy for that region again demonstrated that primary fact and focus. I once posted/commented about all those meetings so barflies would see the vast difference between Russian and Chinese people first policies versus the West's Zero-sum Neoliberalism that puts profit over people. None of that has changed. In fact, it's an even stronger priority now.

As for the lack of a massive purge of the Kremlin by Putin, over the 22+ years that he's been either President or Prime Minister, lots of personnel has turned over. I find Glazyev's protestations important but I don't see his proposals as panaceas. Could overall conditions be better? Yes. But they could also be worse. Glazyev has written three books of which I have just the one--The Last War--but he says to know all his proposals all three must be consulted. IMO, this essay condenses his three books. However, searching Stalker Zone for all his articles published there shows a large trove needing to be waded through. One thing that we've all learned from his writings that's hugely important is the fact that Russia's Central Bank is set up as a Public Utility, not a Private Preserve, that does properly support the economy, but could do that much better. Additionally, my research shows that there are many other banks operating in the same capacity--supporting the economy and Russia's people that Gazyev ignores.

IMO, what handicaps all of us here is that none of us have fastidiously and minutely followed Putin and Russia's government over those 22+ years, which means there's a lot we don't know and need to rely upon others for information--and those others generally speak and publish only in Russian.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 19 2022 16:33 utc | 383

Re: bevin @364

This is what unfettered capitalism (more correctly known as fascism) eventually creates, because it is always more economical to sell your food to rich people, then feed your poor because poor people cant afford the food! During both the Irish and Indian famines of the 1800's food production actually INCREASED as the famine got worse, but it was the deliberate policy of the British government to sell that food for money on the international markets rather then feed the starving masses. Business leaders actually fought to ensure food was NOT given to the starving people as the threat of starving to death was used to keep worker wages low and force small landowners to abandon their holdings to go to the city in search of work, allowing for commercial interests to purchase their land for pennies on the dollar to create the large factory farms we have today.

In healthy societies, governments and elites know that if they try to starve their own people to death to make a quick buck, they will quickly find themselves swinging from a lamppost, but the current crop of elites in the West have forgotten the labour unrest of the 1900's, they think they have a god given right to rule over the plebs and the plebs must serve till death. This will eventually change, but to be blunt, millions of commoners in the West will need to suffer needless and preventable deaths before governments change policy or quite possibly are overthrown in bloody revolts

Posted by: Kadath | Apr 19 2022 16:40 utc | 384

Miller #360 David F

Serious question, why are so many yankees fascinated with things that go bang?

Posted by: Krypton | Apr 19 2022 16:44 utc | 385

361 - Interesting about the lack of response.
And probably Aislin was with Azov. As part of the Freemasonry of rightist nutters. Some years back he seems to have been with the Kurdish YPG, another favoured armed group in the Western media.

Posted by: Waldorf | Apr 19 2022 16:46 utc | 386

pretzleattack @374--

Yesterday, I posted the entire transcript of Putin's meeting on economic issues to the Week in Review thread. Unfortunately, that transcript doesn't include Nabiullina's testimony, and the RT article that reported on some of her testimony yesterday before the Duma was also very thin on details, and frankly of little help when trying to determine policy. What we all need is more information so our analysis can improve instead of taking stabs.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 19 2022 16:48 utc | 387

Arch Bungle @369--

Thanks for your reply. Yes, the regime change will be done by Ukrainians. It's also certain there'll be Constitutional Change by The People as well. The big question IMO since more oblasts are contemplating declaring independence is what will remain of the Ukrainian state? Kiev will remain its capital. I asked this other question yesterday: Who/what's being paid Gazprom's transit fees for the continual shipping of gas to Europe through Ukraine which has yet to cease? And what will become of that transit network that's reportedly in bad repair given Europe's current distaste for Russian gas?

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 19 2022 16:58 utc | 388

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 19 2022 16:58 utc | 380


Who/what's being paid Gazprom's transit fees for the continual shipping of gas to Europe through Ukraine which has yet to cease? And what will become of that transit network that's reportedly in bad repair given Europe's current distaste for Russian gas?

As I understand it, transit payments to Ukraine go via three channels:

1. Direct payments to Ukrainian state banks (IBT)
2. Fees payed by EU states back to Ukrainian state banks (IBT)
3. In the form of a suitable amount of gas tapped off directly from the transit lines.

Nothing stops payments from going straight to the Ukrainian state banks from Russia or the EU as normal, to my knowledge the central banking infrastructure of Ukraine is still operational (for now!).

Nothing stops Ukraine from taking their fee allotment of gas as usual.

However, the moment the Ukrainian banking infrastructure is no longer available these fees will end up in escrow accounts on both the European and Russian sides until the successor banking infrastructure re-appears, while "fees" in the form of gas supplies still continue via pipeline infrastructure (while the infrastructure exists!).

As for the transit infrastructure, knowing the Russians, they will repair it up to the borders of "Russia friendly" Ukraine, providing the LPR and DPR with an income stream, and reroute via other states leaving the EU-Allied Ukrainians to do as they wish with their portion of the network.

Gradually, either the network will be repaired by the regime in Kiev or it will reroute around them, depriving them of revenue.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Apr 19 2022 17:19 utc | 389

Posted by: Thomas Turk | Apr 19 2022 9:54 utc | 300

I'm for one - is glad we're not heading for the ice-age we used to be warned about - back in the 70'.

https://youtu.be/EfK-WX2pa8c

Posted by: Anne B | Apr 19 2022 17:19 utc | 390

Rodger karlof1 bevin

Striking a balance between incentive and equality in wealth will always be a difficult issue.
From reading transcripts of Kremlin meetings, having policies enacted in the regions is often an issue due to regional bureaucracy. Federal funding for infrastructure or social policies often spent on other things or simply mismanaged. As far as I know, it is the elected government - the Duma that is responsible for overseeing and carrying federal policies set at the presidential level.
As we saw with Covid, China can mobilize the whole country as one unit and move very quickly, but I think Russia is far too diverse to be able to do similar. Its more a matter of finding policies ect that the majority will agree to.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 19 2022 17:22 utc | 391

Posted by: CharlesLutherThanos | Apr 19 2022 2:03 utc

I posted a note by ColonelCassad about that in the previous thread. There are no civilians in Azovstahl Steel Plant. It's just another ploy.

You are incorrect according to intelslava: "More than 120 civilians left Azovstal

Taking advantage of a short lull, the civilians of Mariupol, who became hostages of neo-Nazi militants, were finally able to get out of the basements of houses that stand directly at the main Azovstal checkpoint."

Intelslava

Posted by: JustAnotherAussie | Apr 19 2022 17:23 utc | 392

I see there's a Lavrov speech I overlooked: "Speech by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the plenary session 'International Relations in the Context of Digitalisation of Public Life' of the Digital International Relations 2022 International Scientific and Practical Conference, Moscow, April 14, 2022." What follows is the portion of the transcript that relates to this thread. One problem with machine translations I've noted is with pronouns and occasional capitalization errors. As you read, you'll note the one correction I made. Note that as the conflict continues the overall story of its origins lengthens.

Our meeting is taking place against the backdrop of a seriously complicated situation in the world. This is due to the aggressive line of the "collective West", led by the United States, seeking to restore and forever consolidate its dominance in international affairs in order to continue to solve its own narrow self-serving tasks to the detriment of the national interests of other members of the international community and at their "expense".

The most important component of this aggressive line is the long-term policy of the West on a comprehensive, systemic containment of Russia (as they say, "on all fronts"). The culmination of this Russophobic course is the unconditional support of Washington and Brussels for the radical nationalist Kiev regime, the nurturing of ultra-radicals in Ukraine, and the creation of "anti-Russia" from this country. President of Russia Vladimir Putin has spoken about this in detail more than once.

Ukraine was actively drawn into NATO, in every possible way encouraged the prohibition of the Russian language, education, and the media. There have been arrests, harassments, even murders of independent journalists. They were pumped with lethal weapons. [They] did everything to ensure that neo-Nazi ideology and practice germinated in Ukraine. They allowed to consolidate tendencies against everything Russian, in support of neo-Nazism in the legislation of the state of Ukraine. The last eight years have actually shielded the complete unwillingness of the Ukrainian regimes to implement the Minsk agreements, pushed for a military solution to the "Donbass problem". Kiev itself was preparing for war against Donetsk and Lugansk, as we now know 100% of the internal documents of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and "national battalions" that fell into the hands of our military. Not to mention the fact that materials have been revealed confirming the active creation of military-biological projects in Ukraine with an eye to the creation of biological weapons with the support of the United States and other Western countries.

As President of Russia Vladimir Putin said in his detailed speeches, we had no choice but to recognize the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. At their request, on the basis of concluded treaties on mutual assistance, to launch a special military operation in the interests of protecting people from the military threat from neo-Nazis, demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine. These tasks, as Vladimir Putin once again said at the Vostochny Cosmodrome, will certainly be solved.

Under the pretext of the Ukrainian crisis, the "collective West" has declared an all-out hybrid war on Russia. It covers a variety of areas, including the information space. The West has assumed the title of "beacon of democracy." Grossly violates the international obligations assumed to ensure freedom of expression, equal access to information, including that which comes to the country concerned from abroad.

In 1990-1991, numerous documents were adopted in the OSCE. On the "wave of euphoria" about universal values, everything seemed "rosy". We moved with confidence that these universal values would illuminate for us the path to a future that would necessarily be "bright" for all. As soon as the Russian Federation began to express its assessments, to rely on genuine, legitimate national interests, all the obligations assumed at that time by the West on the need to ensure free access to information were forgotten and buried. This is an extra characteristic of the methods by which our Western colleagues are ready to act today, how they relate to international law, instead of which they invent their own "rules".

One of the "rules" is precisely that when the West does not like something, it blocks access to information from relevant sources. In fact, it refuses to recognize the applicability of international obligations to the Russian Federation, to our media, views, assessments of what is happening in the world. The West demonstrates a totalitarian intolerance of alternative points of view.

Under the "roller" of Western repression fall individual users of social networks and large media with all the infrastructure of news dissemination and assessments created over the years. Heads of domestic media operators and ordinary employees are brought under the influence of illegitimate sanctions. We see how global Western, primarily American, Internet platforms are fanning the blocking of Russian information resources around the world. They do it defiantly, without hesitation. The other day, YouTube video hosting restricted access to the briefing of the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova on March 17 this year. Unjustified restrictions are imposed on the publications of the Russian Foreign Ministry and foreign missions on Twitter only for the fact that we tell the truth and back up our words with facts.

Obviously, that's what they don't want to forgive us. Twitter did not hesitate to announce the use of a policy of discrimination against the official resources of russian state bodies. The recognized extremist corporation Meta continues to deliberately ignore the calls for violence and murder against Russian citizens posted on its platforms. Democracy, liberalism, pluralism are not observed here. On the contrary, censorship and arbitrariness are increasing. I believe that this is part of the xenophobic culture sanctioned and fanned by the Western world to abolish everything Russian and Russian.

Almost every day, Russian state institutions, the media, critical infrastructure facilities, and the life support system are subjected to powerful cyber attacks using advanced information technologies. All this is part of a coordinated information aggression against our country. Special attention is required to the tasks of protecting the relevant resources of the executive authorities, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is necessary to constantly improve the measures taken for this purpose, to establish daily monitoring of the implementation of the relevant instructions of the Government. At the same time, it is necessary to fully take into account (I would like to stress this again) the unique specifics of the diplomatic service, to do everything to reliably secure the array of truly invaluable and sometimes extremely sensitive information that has been accumulated in the Foreign Ministry. We are working on this in detail together with our colleagues.

Russia is taking concrete legislative and practical steps to further strengthen the technological digital sovereignty of the state. I will not dwell on this in detail. I would just like to note that constant attention is paid to these issues, and we have all the necessary resources to solve this problem. Today, Russia is among the world leaders in the development and use of ICT technologies and digital products, which will continue to be constantly improved. The current crisis opens up additional opportunities for development, as in any other sphere.

I consider it fundamentally important that at the same time we do not isolate ourselves from anyone, do not fall into self-isolation. We consistently advocate the establishment of professional and constructive cooperation in the digital sphere, primarily in the field of Internet governance and cybersecurity. Now it is obvious to all responsible politicians and professionals in this area that without universal agreements in the field of Internet regulation, the world risks plunging into a state of cyber anarchy. The consequences of this can be, without exaggeration, catastrophic for the world economy, international security, and for the living comfort and well-being of hundreds of millions of citizens.

In this regard, I would like to confirm what we have repeatedly stated at the UN and other relevant international venues. Russia has been and remains firmly committed to the speedy development of universal norms and principles of responsible behavior of states and Internet intermediaries in the information space. We have submitted to the UN a draft global convention to combat crime in the use of information and communication technologies. We intend to achieve a fairer and more balanced international regime for the management of the Internet. We look forward to working consistently with all interested partners to make these goals a reality.

It is obvious that the well-being of Russians directly depends on the widespread introduction of ICT into everyday life. Special attention should be paid to the processes of digitalization: their adjustment, balancing, adaptation to a specific situation. I am convinced that these processes should not turn into an end in themselves, but should be carried out actively after careful consideration of all risks and threats to society, should serve to protect national interests, protect our values, culture and history.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not remain aloof from the general trend, actively developing the digital agenda. We will do everything necessary to strengthen information security within the Foreign Ministry in order to effectively counter cyber threats that have increased markedly due to the above-mentioned reasons.

And of course, despite the obstacles imposed by our ill-wishers, the Ministry and our foreign missions will continue to make maximum use of the potential of digital diplomacy, the possibilities of the Internet and social networks to convey to the widest circles of the international community the Russian point of view on the events taking place. We are quite well advanced in this matter. We intend to continue to step up our efforts using creative and innovative methods, cooperating with representatives of our science, including the Ivannikov Institute for System Programming of the Russian Academy of Sciences, which works closely with us. Including the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Science and the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Russian digital diplomacy is at the forefront of information confrontation and confrontation. Sometimes digital diplomacy becomes almost the only way to convey an alternative point of view to foreign audiences, when normal channels of communication are blocked. As the West is now trying to do. The actions that we take in order to convey the truth to foreign audiences provoke our enemies to further attempts to block these information channels by any means. That's what we mean.

I want to emphasize that, despite this line of Western services, we will continue to use their capabilities in our information work strictly within the framework of our legislation, but at the same time it is obvious that we can fully reliably rely only on our domestic online platforms and information and communication technology solutions. In this sense, we have long been actively supporting and promoting Vkontakte. I remember how seven years ago in St. Petersburg I had the opportunity to personally launch the Foreign Ministry's account in this service. We will actively support Odnoklassniki and RuTube. We are working on other electronic formats. At the end of last year, a new Application of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was launched with a convenient version of the site for mobile devices and tablets. The russian Foreign Ministry's mobile application "Foreign Assistant" is operating and developing.

There are several passages I chose not to emphasize as I've done so before, although Meta being an "extremist corporation" merits such treatment. How soon will that label be applied to Twitter?

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 19 2022 17:23 utc | 393

Does Putin, or anyone else in the world give a fuck what this jackass says or does anymore?

https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/canada-sanctions-russian-president-vladimir-putin-s-daughters-1.5866952

Posted by: Krypton | Apr 19 2022 17:26 utc | 394

Kadath @ 370

Part of what has happened is from the way Azov has been expending ammunition. You could try this Patrick Lancaster video

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5VrKFX7DmQE&noapp=1&bpctr=1650389544

Don’t have a time signature for you, I watched this one a while ago. The old man talks about Azov setting up at the end of the block - this is a residential neighborhood of small 19th century masonry cottages - and simply dumping 100 mortar rounds and taking out every structure until the explosions are almost on top of the mortar team. Then the mortar moves back and continues more of the same. This was done everywhere in town. No military purpose whatsoever. They had a pile of ammo and they used it.

As more interviews are done In Mariupol we hear about more and more gratuitous mass murder and gratuitous mass rape. Plus of course rape/murder. This is a death cult..Not as a figure of speech. A death cult. When ammo use is about pleasure in making things go boom and no one gives a damn about military practicality yes you can burn ammo. Azov is the most highly trained Uke force and the one most thoroughly integrated into US command. This is what they were told to do.

Now that the ammo has been spent the Russian offensive will go much faster. I see the sheer idiocy of the slaughter- and ammo waste - as a sign that US is swirling the drain. Our time is come.

No, we are not restarting any factories. No, we don’t know how to keep this show on the road.

Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 19 2022 17:28 utc | 395

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Apr 19 2022 17:19 utc | 381

In other words, Russia not only continues to subsidize Europe's industry with its gas and oil exports, but it directly funds the Ukrainian government, which is explicitly committed to the genocide of the Russian people. Absolutely astonishing.

Paul Craig Roberts, at the risk of repeating himself a bit too much, has continued to make the point that the biggest threat to Russia is the Kremlin's own weakness and its boundless naivité toward the West. He may have understated his case, if anything.

Posted by: Unnamed | Apr 19 2022 17:32 utc | 396

Try to act surprised.

On the official day that RU begins Phase 2 Donbas offensive, after weeks of Mariupol bombardment and humanitarian corridor interruptions, CNN discovers that Azov Battalion discovered women and children sheltering in the Azovstal basement.

CNN cannot verify the authenticity of the video, or when it was taken. However, after reviewing thousands of photos and videos of the Azovstal steel plant, the walls of the shelter appear to match the lime-green painted walls of the steel plant's basements.

Some context: Commander of the Azov Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Denys Prokopenko, in Mariupol said in a video posted Monday on Telegram that Russian forces have been firing "willingly" on the Azovstal steelworks factory, where hundreds of civilians are sheltering alongside Ukrainian forces.

Posted by: sln2002 | Apr 19 2022 17:33 utc | 397

karlof1 | Apr 19 2022 16:58 utc | 380 "And what will become of that transit network that's reportedly in bad repair given Europe's current distaste for Russian gas?"

I suspect that is a question even Russian leadership is leaving open at the moment. In the long term, Europe will always be reliant on Russian resources.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 19 2022 17:34 utc | 398

Just Another Aussie @ 384

No. Read again. Those civilians were in residences adjacent to the main Azovstal checkpoint. Not within the steel plant. If you want to look at yesterday’s propaganda video those are not the women or children shown as living in the underground city.

Ramzan Kadyrov announced earlier today that the steel plant will be completely cleansed either today or tomorrow. I am still betting underground residents who did not escape are all dead.

Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 19 2022 17:38 utc | 399

Waterloo! Waterloo! Waterloo! morne plaine!
The defeat of Waterloo sealed the French imperial ambitions. Victor Hugo was too fanatical about this epic to accept a deserved defeat. The French left has been imbued with its moral superiority since the Revolution of 1789 and has subsequently led us into 130 years of colonial adventure.

In 1815, Napoleon, France and its army, weakened by 15 years of European wars, attempted, upon the Emperor's return from exile to the island of Elba, a risky and heroic maneuver once again.
As 400 years earlier and barely 200km further west, at Azincourt, French arrogance got bogged down, unable to adapt its tactics and logistics to the terrain and the hazards of war.
"waiting for Grouchy, came Blücher".
https://www.poetica.fr/poeme-7187/victor-hugo-expiation/

Le soir tombait; la lutte était ardente et noire.
Il avait l’offensive et presque la victoire;
Il tenait Wellington acculé sur un bois.
Sa lunette à la main, il observait parfois
Le centre du combat, point obscur où tressaille
La mêlée, effroyable et vivante broussaille,
Et parfois l’horizon, sombre comme la mer.
Soudain, joyeux, il dit: Grouchy! – C’était Blücher.
L’espoir changea de camp, le combat changea d’âme,
La mêlée en hurlant grandit comme une flamme.
La batterie anglaise écrasa nos carrés.

Phase 1 and then phase 2 and the management of the special operation proves that the Russian army masters these aspects. I have more confidence in Martianov than in the multitude of French generals who follow one another on television and predict that Putin will end up "À Sainte-Hélène" .

Posted by: La Bastille | Apr 19 2022 17:39 utc | 400

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